Opening with a description of the Japanese for “creating something unique”, as Nintendo’s guiding mantra over the years. Nintendo started on a deeply philosophical note, explaining how they are trying to branch the barriers in our modern lifestyles that means we are alone together thanks to all our technology.
This broadcast gave us our first real glimpse of the Wii U Gamepad with its two analogue sticks.
The mystery of the little square on the left has been cleared up as being the NFC reader, along with another button to the left of the power button to remotely turn the console on. And in an interesting turn of events, the Wii U Gamepad can be used as a universal TV remote. I confess, I did not see that one coming!
Asymmetric diversity; the constantly changing relationship between the television and Wii U Gamepad, will be showcased in great detail on Tuesday, where the main focus will be almost entirely on games, according to Satoru Iwata.
There’s also a Wii U Pro Controller, which looks remarkably familiar for those of us who have played consoles from competitors.
What followed was a terrible video involving a guy on a sofa talking to his non-specific action figure and an old man across the internet. But aside from the self-deprecating humour and cringeworthy cheesiness of the video, there is a very interesting set of possibilities opening up to Wii U owners, who will be able to connect with other players and get help, or talk about the game they’re playing. The video also seemed to feature a mobile phone app that lets players connect with others on the move as well.
Then they threw a completely new word into the mix: Miiverse.
The Mii Universe; a place where Miis from across the world can connect and share right there on the dashboard of the console. It will be accessible constantly without needing to shut down games to access it *cough* PlayStation Vita *cough* and will allow people to communicate with hand-written notes, much like Nintendo’s recent Swapnote app for the 3DS. I can’t wait to visit a forum full of pictures of cocks. On a more serious note, Nintendo really seems to be pushing for a sort of digital form of written communication between players.
Miiverse will also introduce more ‘information and empathy’ in a way that looks remarkably similar to the system used in Dark Souls, although players won’t be able to invade each others games (at least most of the time!).
Miiverse will eventually be available from PCs, Nintendo 3DS consoles, Wii U and mobile phones. But not from launch. The themes of connectivity, interaction and sharing are stronger than ever. As Iwata put it: “Together, better.”
Matt is a lifetime gamer from his humble beginnings with the Atari 2600. He is also the host of the Default Prime video series, The Bowlingotter Show.
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